I got hungry sitting here reading angry research papers and squinting my eyes at the nonsense. The screen started to blur up and I almost passed out into a nice relaxing nap but, frankly, i am scared of the nap - especially the late afternoon nap. Fall asleep in the daylight and wakeup in the dark and i become some sort of crazed monster, wandering around the apartment making no sense, having no sense, finding no sense, scratching my stubble and wondering which way is up and so I just try to avoid the nap situation.
Which is probably why I look so tired, but that doesn't necessarily explain the yellow palour about me, but what can you do? one of my super secret fears is that I have cancer or aids or something equally as horrid and I just don't know it. I envision myself feeling kinda crappy for a few months, but being the anti-doctor sorta guy that I am, I just won't do anything about it. Then I'll keel over one day and that'll be it. I'm not really scared
of this scenario, or fearful, or anything like that.. I just think about it sometimes and i sorta feel like it wouldn't really phase me too much if it became true.
This is the place I get keys copied. They sell a buncha kitchen equipment but seem to make pretty poor key copies, as the three I have from them all give me trouble. I manage, but they give me trouble.
This is the clothing store right next to my building that sells, well, clothes I guess. It's sorta uber trendy in a corporate sort of way, not in a trendy sort of way, if that makes any sense, so it seemed pretty weird when they put it in on this street 4 years or so back. Gosh those mannequins look bored. It's not exactly a corporate-cool
sort of street, st. laurent. But, I went in there once and in the back they have glass windows in the floor where you can see the next floor down - or at least some compartment beneath the floor. They had a motorcycle in the comparment when I was there, I think.. it was all lit up with track lighting in a corporate way.
But back to my
problem. Specifically my crooked nose. I've been saying it for awhile now but I think this photo proves it. Look at that monstrosity. At least it's not a giant goiter like poor opus, though I hear they get bigger with age - it's apparently the only (organ?) that gets bigger on men as they age into senior citizenship. yah, thanks god.
1. What song have you been singing over and over in your head today?
Only The Strong Survive
- Jerry Butler.
2. What song have you particularly been stuck on over the last week, above and beyond the song from question #1?
The Nitty Gritty
- Shirley Ellis.
3. What song has been on rotation in your CD/MP3 player consistently for the last month?
Over the Hills and Far Away
- Led Zeppelin.
4. What song has been burned into your brain over your last six months on this earth?
Midnight Train to Georgia
- Gladys Night and the Pips.
5. What song has been on your internal billboard top 40 (all genres) chart for at least the last year?
Dry the Rain
- The Beta Band.
6. If you could apologize for one of the last 5 answers, which one would it be and why?
Dry the Rain
just doesn't seem worthy for a whole year, really.
7. If you could put one song in the first 5 answers, what would it be and why?
- Elvis Presley, since it might be one of the best songs of all time. Shame not to be listening to it a little more often then I do.
8. Predict the first new comer to these 5 answers come next week, and why?
- Jeff Buckley, since I'm a sucker for that sort of shit or White Wedding
- Billy Idol, because I lost the mp3 and just realized it and re-downloaded it and damn, White Wedding
. Yah. Rock.
9. Of the 5, which one is most likely to last the longest?
Midnight Train to Georgia
- Gladys Night and the Pips. Zep a close second.
10. What was the last song that made you really pissed off when someone else put it on?
We Like To Party
- Venga Boys. Sorry, I just wasn't in the mood.
i'm thinkin it's a good thing to be a pirate, based on my brief encounter with them in the Life Aquatic, if you recall me mentioning it. I might not have mentioned it though, which would explain you not recalling it. Whatever, pirates seem cool. Even in this 21st century of world superpowers and giant navies, pirates still troll the languid waters of ..
oh whatever. you get the idea. pirates seem like they got it pretty good. sure, the women are few and far between out on the open sea, but hey it's 2005, aren't gay pirates allowed by now?
listening, trying to understand, but not sure where Rush fits into the musical rainbow and if it is even necessary that they be there - forgive me, my weak thoughts.
Back in the day they didn't allow gays in the military but hey we're progressive
now - don't ask don't tell - so if you can join the navy and be gay fighting pirates, why shouldn't you be able to join the pirates and be gay fighting the navy? makes sense to me.
The real fun, though, is probably when they're on shore-leave. You saw pirates of the carribbean - apparently you get to run around town knocking things over and hitting brutally on the women between drunken stumbles. I do that on a somewhat regular basis here in montreal but I don't get the fun of going back to the ship to sleep in small quarters with my gay pirate buddies. Just think of the fun!
All this gayness aside, I think pirates probably get a decent amount of heterosexual ass since they make perfect adultery victums. think about this for a second. you're away on business. pirates come to town, pillaging far and wide, and install themselves at the bar in the local brew-pub. now, if your wife is gonna hook up with anyone, do you think it's going to be the plumber (ass-crack), the milkman (coke-bottle glasses) or.. the mysterious swashbuckling foreigner replete with body scars and a sash tied around his waste?
pirates, yah see, they got the allure. they may
have a lot of money - or at least a buncha gold bulleon in an "off-shore account" if you know what I mean. they're apparently single but perhaps married to their sweetheart back home. they could have be wanted for .. well.. piracy. and heck, if they sound like a british rockstar and sort of swagger around a lot, maybe they're funny too.
if women don't like a little humor i don't know what they like.
scratch that - i thought
they liked a little humor. maybe the keyword is little
. maybe i'm just too much of a laugh for most of the gals out there.. but it's alright. Mike, yah see.. he's lookin' into this whole pirate thing. you gotta figure they're high tech these days.. radar, sonar, computers to track their investments. cell phones to call their daughters in uni and tv satellite dish to record The O.C. if they happen to be out plundering on thursday night.. so maybe they have a use for a guy like me, once i'm done and through with this nonsense of a graduate degree.
huh. me, a fulltime pirate. i wonder what the bennies are like.
dental? hrm.. not by the looks of it.
Right now I'd like a few small things. Nothing spectacular. Just a few specific items.
#1 - A 20 pound cat, or at least a damn big one. They're funny, and tend to have more personality than 5 times the poundage of dog. Don't get me wrong, I'm a dog person all the way, but a cat one as well. All of this earth's fine creatures have their day. I won't slight one on the off chance I'm in the rain on their particular day in the sun.
#2 - A name like Danny Ocean, or at least a unique physical feature to make me a) memorable, b) impressive, and c) alluring. Like maybe a giant axe scar on my face or a giant mohawk the size of my 20 pound cat or a ninja body guard who I would stand in for as his stunt-double for the really hard stuff.
#3 - My very own countdown clock to the 235 year anniversary of the invention of the styrofoam packing peanut, located somewhere like the town I was born or where I grew up, preferrably at the library or right outside city hall. Labelled "Michael's 235 year anniversary of the invention of the styrofoam packing peanut countdown clock". I figure a thing like that would put things into perspective.
#4 - A tiny wireless earbud for cheating on a Series 7 license so that I could sell junk bonds to my friends.
#5 - Happiness, health, sanity, peace on earth, good will towards men, and a bowl of ice cream.
embarrassed to admit I watched final fantasy a few times this weekend on divx and i may actually like it, or at least the fact that they even attempted it.
I'm no paranoid android or nothing but the google makes me a little creeped out when I tose my 'ol john hancock at it. I mean, most people I google - and sure, who doesn't get ass
bored and just sit around googling their friends just to see the dumb shit they're attached to - some old high school soccer article or maybe a secret blog or some physics research publication - most people, they get a few google hits but me, no, I get tons
of hits on my name - only none of them are mine. Here's the creepy bit: it's all computer geek talk. It's overclockers mailing-list threads and some dude from MIT and another litigator against Microsoft? I dunno, a bunch of chip nutters is what I'm saying, and goddamn if that isn't just a little bit creepy, seeing as how I, too, am a computer scientist (god that sounds laughable).
jibber jabber jibber jabber. Dj Truckz-Tank was at a party with a bunch of his good friends that he met when he first came to the city. They were all sort of oafish brutes in their own little emo ways, running around and knocking people's intelligence down like a punk starts a moshpit, but they at least liked music, which is why Dj became friends with them.
Dj Truckz-Tank was a solid boy through and through, from his first words as a toddler - "I rules" - to his last camel cigarette. He was the sort of kid you see sitting on the curb eating a slice of pizza but you immediately like him anyway. He was the sort of kid who had bums asking him if he
needed some money, and was he okay - even though he was completely fine. He was the sort of kid who you would still call a kid even though he was 27 years old. In short, he was alright.
Dj lived on the fourth floor of an old wharehouse with his minature schnauzer named Fifi. The girls came and went but Fifi was a standard and so Dj loved that dog like he loved his mother - inately. He was even the one to give his good friend the idea to start Schnauzerware.com
- the first, original & most comprehensive Internet resource for people with Giant, Miniature & Standard Schnauzers
. In the mornings Fifi would wake him up by snorting around in his bed and licking his face. At night the dog would lay on the end of the bed with his paws crossed and stare at larry king live with intensive interest. During the day he would stand on his hind legs, peaking over the windowsile, looking for Dj to return home. He was a smart dog.
Dj Truckz-Tank was a bit of a loner for somebody with so many friends. He spent large amounts of time by himself reading comics, writing letters to his senator, and generally feeling bad for the third world. He thought the X-Men were contrived, Spiderman was silly, and Batman was brilliant. He disliked the idea of gun control, was all for banning smoking in bars, and believed whole-heartedly in the possibility of a new world order of hydrogen efficiency. He was not really an activist, more like a concerned citizen - a rarity in a nation of french fries and movie popcorn.
When he was younger he used to live in the suburbs with his parents. He was an only child but his street was full of kids and he spent most of his days playing in a big gully out behind his house with his neighbour Jim. Somewhere along the line Jim faded out, a victum of the conflict in the middle east - not so much because he died but because he was sucked into the military machine never to be seen or heard from again. But Dj was okay with that. Faces that faded into and out of his life were a common theme and he worked well with change - something most people have more of a hard time with - so when he moved into the city at the age of 17 to persue a career as a rock DJ the transition was minimal.
He quickly made new friends - the pizza guy, the girl that worked in the coffee shop down the street, the cute waitress at Clive's - and so when Fifi showed up it was like icing on the cake. One of life's sweet little candies you suck on after dinner with a smile on your face. At first it seemed as though he was a stray when he first showed up outside Dj's door. He found him sniffing around some garbage cans looking a bit ragged and grimey, and so he let him in and shared a pork chop with him. When he was still around the next day he took a picture with his digital camera and made a poster which he put up on the telephone pool outside his building. "FOUND: Minature Schnauzer that likes Pork Chops. If this is your dog, ring #410" - below a snapshot of Fifi on the couch, lying on his back, with his paws sticking up - very much looking like greek royalty.
"I dunno, I think it makes you look fat." Dj mused and Fifi just grunted at him.
A few days later an old man showed up and claimed the dog and Dj shook his hand and sent him on his way so he was surprised a year later when a woman - probably about 35 - showed up with a small boy and a big paper bag. They rang the doorbell early on a tuesday morning and he ran down the four flights of stairs in his boxers and 2 days beard stubble. When he swung the door open the woman stepped back and the boy looked at him quizzically with large round eyes. They were wet.
The woman explained to him that her father had died - the old man whose dog he had found - and that he left the dog to Dj in his will. "Here," she said, passing over the paper bag, "is the dog." Fifi stuck his head out of the bag, his ear stuck under one of the handles making him look lopsided, and sniffed the air. "Oh, well.. uh." Dj didn't really know what to say. "Okay, I guess. Thank you."
The boy was visibly crying now and so he asked what his name was "Billy," the woman said before the boy could answer, "He's my son. He is upset that we can't keep the dog." She, however, didn't seem to be upset at all. "Oh, well it was your father's dog.. by all means, I think you should take it." Dj said to her. "No no," she sighed, as if she had expected this, "We're not allowed pets in our apartment building. It's better this way." Dj thought for a moment and then looked down at the boy again. "I'll tell you what, Billy," he said, "What you say you come by whenever you want and walk your dog, how would that be?" Billy perked up and his eyes brightened and he said "really?" "Sure, why the heck not?" Dj said, and looked at the boy's mother to see if this suggestion went over well with her. She didn't seem to mind one way or the other. "Okay then, then it's settled. #410.. Anytime you want".
And that's how it came to be that Dj Truckz-Tank and little Billy Rollins became pretty damn good friends - along with the dog too - which I have yet to explain how a he
dog ended up with the somewhat effeminate name of Fifi
, but that's a story for another volume.
The funniest thing happened to me last night. I wandered home from the computer lab around 5pm, ate some tofu stirfry, and went out for a few happy-hour beers with my roommate. I got back around 8pm and I settled into a nice cozy spot on the couch with my lap topped with my iBook and that was going to be the end of it - I had a few papers to read and some work to boot, so I figured for a quiet night.
I powered through some Non-Photorealistic Rendering (NPR) research papers (a few approaches to computer-generated mosaics) and poked around at some compiler work I had to do but around 10:30pm I got a call from my roommate who was looking for a bar. I heard laughter in the background and it was clear they were having fun.. I sent them off in the right direction but it wasn't too much later that they were back in our place and they
were more than I expected: a few girls he met off the street were tagging along. We headed downstairs to the bar, danced a little, had some more beers, and made conversation. It wasn't too long into this conversation that I realized these girls were not from around town, in fact they were visiting for the weekend from Maine. Maine girls. You all know what I think
of Maine girls.
So things turned to Maine talk and they realized I was a Mainer too and we chit-chatted about the port city and all the wonderful little fluff things you appreciate about your real home and then they asked me where I had worked. I was surprised they knew where I worked.. but even more surprised that one of them had dated a co-worker of mine. Names started flying around and, well, it's a small small world, afterall.
It never ceases to amaze people, these little run-ins, these small coincidences of life, but I imagine it's not even that amazing. The math of it probably explains it all, and of course we forget the other 364 days of the year when nothing
coincidental happens.. it's the odd occurance that really sticks with us, that's what we remember.
They were "up for anything" so we tromped through the snow and biting wind of the montreal night and plopped them down on a swank plush sofa in a strip club. We had rum and cokes and watched the dark-haired italian women strutting around on the stage. The quiet usher in formal wear lead parties through the tables and the young couple sitting next to us whispered and watched the show.
The night began to swirl and the red velvet made patterns on my eyeballs. The rum swished down my throat and the bass thumped through my feet. The lights flickered, time was up, so they giggled at the world as they realized they were out of money - after just one night in the big city
Nowhere else to go but back to the loft so we lead them, slipping and sliding, up St. Laurent and up into the loft where we snatched a bottle of red out of our roommate's stash and fired up a smoke and listened to Otis Redding and Curtis Mayfield on the hifi, then some trance, and techno.. on up into the Run Lola Run soundtrack, and then back down into the woods of zepplin and out onto the nightmare plains of floyd.
On the way back from our ephemeral journey, they thanked us for our hospitality and thanked their lucky stars for the fortuitous occurance of a short conversation on a city street with a complete stranger.
I'm afraid I wasn't very clear in that last post on politics and the world at large. I tend to do that sometimes when I think too hard: fail at clarity. The silt at the bottom gets all stirred up and muddies the waters. Then it always takes awhile to settle back down.
All I was trying to say, really, is that I think it would behoove us as a people, as a nation, as a species, to realize the common goal, common good, etc, etc, but more importantly - much more importantly - realize the limits to that goal, realize the inevitable failure at pure fantasy.
It just isn't going to happen. Our home-built version of fantasy is some sick world of eat-too-much mentality with piles of money and enough fish to go around. It's grapes lowered by servants (robots by now) into our awaiting mouths. It's tvs, flat screens, flat panels, lcds, plasma, microfibre, nanotech all so we can get closer, deeper, into our world of more
before the world around us of not-enough sinks into our conscious any further. Fantasy, in the human mind, is the ultimate work of art. Inside our heads, the greatest possible rendering of reality exists - all the variables, inputs, outside phenomenon, and even the physical brain matter, it all comes together to form this person, this personality, to form this mind which, in turn, dreams.
The trick is to remember where the art is - on the inside - and not try to look to hard for it on the outside cause what you are bound to see is death, dismemberment, countries going to war, famine, and really bad mcdonald's food.
There is a little corner of computer science called formal verification
which is an attempt to develop mathematical theories to be used to prove the correctness of programs. That, essentially, is like einstein trying to come up with a function to be used to prove the correctness of the universe. That is if the universe were one big program. These things, however, or not so simple. There is ultimately a point in time where you will have found the correct order, the correct threshold, the correct inputs, but there will always be something tiny missing. There will always be a constant or a slight multiplier.. something that we can't detect or measure, something that isn't quite
right. Something that will always elude us.
Don't believe me? Solve it. Consider the dividing problem, whereby you learn knowledge in 50% increments. At first, you know 50% of everything there is to know. At the next step, you've learned 50% of what is left over, and have reached 75% of all knowledge. However, at the next step, you learn only an additionaly 12.5% of the original amount, since 100*.5*.5*.5=.125. And thus, out to infinity, you can never truly learn everything there is to know. When scientists first decided to try and solve the age old question of how old the earth is they tended to come up with wildly varying numbers. 12,000. 1 million. 300,000. They were pretty much all over the place and yet none of them, at first, was even close to the nearly 4.5 billion
it very well may be.
And yet these numbers were read, believed, and accepted (to varying degrees) despite their gigantic (and that might not even be the word) error. They were, in fact, as much as 750,000% off (in the case of the bible's estimation at 6000 years).
The bottom line is that we are wrong, very often extremely wrong, and we will never be anything but wrong in our entire existence. The best we can do is keep trying not to be wrong. It's like the neverending race, or the song that never ends, or like that weekend your aunt visited and just wouldn't go home. Anyway you look at it we're in for a long time. No two ways about it. The best we can do is try.
And if trying means believing the world is flat for a few hundred years, so be it. If trying means believing in communism then so be it. If trying means having a system of morality and valuing human lifes then fucking try, already.
I have a friend who is argueable a pretty damn smart guy. He's all over the place from Europe to South America and he sees the world in some funky colors sometimes in a way that neither you nor I do. He's a bit, well, special. What is so special I couldn't put my finger on it but one might describe it as a "gentle autism for the game" and by the game I mean any game. His mind, once introduced to a game of mastermind or a round of Go, once presented with Hanaoi's towers or even tic-tac-toe, becomes a different machine, whirring, processing, changing. There is definitely, clearly, something odd going on inside his head. He'll spend days with the most simple brain teaser. He'll memorize the rubic's cube and maybe someday, the puzzle he'll put together is that of renewable energy.
Some might argue that I'm speaking crazy talk here, that he is completely normal, that he is exactly like you or I. But he isn't, and neither are you. We are all, in some cosmic boiling-pot sense, mutations and broken, fragile, models of our original blueprint. We are, in a word, misrepresented. This randomness is what makes us special and unique and what makes even mechanically-human systems of ours such as the stock market appear random as well: it really is. It is the result of a gaggiagazillion-trillion-million chemical bonds being built, broken, torn, repaired, and rebuilt.. a second, all over the universe, and we expect to be able to understand it?
We, as humans, are either blessed or cursed with a sense of perspective on this all. We're stuck with a big screen tv looking into the inner workings of ourselves only we know it's prime-time tv and what we're seeing is not necessarily real
. It's just what we see. The trick, the truth, is to just keep on widdling away at that knowledge. 50% of the time.
Take home message: we're the only ones that can grab that knowledge for us. And for every normal girl or boy there is an autistic game-playing boy or girl on the other side of the street that may just see the world in enough of a different light and who knows, the one may be important, or the other. Who can know? Who can tell. We are our own greatest natural resource. Not iron, or water, or soil, or sun would do much for us anyway if we didn't have ourselves. It's on the inside
, where the art comes from, the creative center, the imaginative possibility.
Clearly we could stare outward at the world and, with our newfound sadness, cry at the cruelty of nature's hand or we could wisely turn inward. It's where the heart is, the dreams, the pure no-holds-barred fantasies, It's where the natural resource of the people come from. It's where einstein found the theory of relativity, where newton found his apple, and where the world is truly defined.
Me on long weekends and being tired.
Me on the effects of too much beer in this nothing-else-better-to-do-but-drink-beer winter season.
So, clearly, this boy is getting a bit fat.
Over the xmas break I noticed I was down to a scant 158lbs, most likely due to my three-week binge on 16-hour workaholic days and very little sleep and/or food and/or beer. I was down to the lightest I've been since high school. I even managed to avoid the dreaded "holiday pounds", but it would seem that the beginning of this semester has done a number on me, and by number, I'm guessing a good 8 to 10 lbs. I can't be sure, though.. no scale.
What to do, what to do? I'm no young pup like I once was and I'm thinking the gym and some running are calling my name. With 30 fast approaching my metabolism is heading the way of the dinosaurs: into the tar pits where movement is slow, awkward, and death is inevitable. Bummer.
Makes me wonder if I should just say fuck it
and enjoy the time that I have left... or actually worry about things like health and personal appearance. Okay, I should probably worry about my health.. even though we don't get along very well.
My stunt-double is alive and well
. *Phew*. I'da never found him if not for Anti's
keen eye who, despite never having met me, saw the resemblance immediately. Keen indeed!
I'm not really any sort of a political blogger, or very political at all, really, but some things pop into my head and I personally think I would be remiss if I didn't jot them down - even if it's not my normal agenda.
In this case, it's a result of Bush's recent reinauguration to which Tony
i usually fall in love with america about ten times a day, but i gotta give it up to the people who went down to dc and told the president to go fuck himself.
a real president would have stopped his limo and gotten up on the roof of his ride and pulled out his megaphone and said my fellow americans
i know you dont like me, and thats ok.
but i promise all of you that i will listen to you more this time, i will work harder to represent All of this fine nation, and do whats best for the planet at large.
Which got me thinking. Where, really, is it stated that the president of the united states should try and "do what's best for the planet"? I'm no expert but I don't think that's explicit in the constitution and I'm sure it's not an amendment anywhere either.
You see, the problem with us humans, really, is that we all grew up in a neighbourhood, metaphorically speaking, and there was always another neighbourhood nearby that had it's own group of kids and, inevitably, there were turf wars. Nonsensical scuffles. Fighting among the troops. Defections. And, sometimes, death.
We're tribal by nature, one of the things that made us strong and powerful as a species, like pack wolves, but our strength there just may end up being our ultimate downfall. Maybe, just maybe, we're too damn competitive. If you read this blog at all you know I think that one of the most forgotten natural resources on this tiny planet of ours is ourselves: human beings - and I'm not even talking on a physical level here (though there is that aspect) I'm talking about ideas
. Without the Einsteins and the Newtons and the Mendels of the world, where would we be? Without protecting our natural resources (of which humans are one - ALL humans) where, pray tell, will we go.. ?
Clearly capitalism has a place in the world (IMHO) as it's about as close to the process of nature itself than any other system - perhaps explaining why it works so well - but capitalism itself is only practiced in some areas of the world, it has yet to be spread across the entire globe like so much butter on a piece of toast. The real reason that such political systems as socialism and communism ever arose, I suggest, is that somewhere out there someone realized the very importance of people
. Someone saw capitalism for what it was: cold, harsh, unforgiving - only the strong survive - and that didn't sit well with them. They were, in their delusions of grandeur, attempting to save the species.
The cold hard fact, however, that most people cannot accept, is that nature is a cruel mother and capitalism a cruel system if you're at the bottom of the pile but it's the best we got. Truly, there will always be hungry, there will always be poor, there will always be those who fall by the wayside of society and if you believe that can be prevented you are as mad as the prophetizing bum on the street, drunk on his own craziness and hungry for a swig of the whiskey bottle.
It's what we haven't figured out yet that is really killing the planet: capitalism will only work as a complete system. Capitalism is not built as a closed system. To truly harness the full power of the system - the full power of the people
it must be spread completely throughout the world and only then will people in Rwanda sit in the shade with their stomachs full, only then will Chinese have as many babies as they desire, only then will fly to mars, and beyond. And only then will we truly protect the entire planet from our pollution and refuse.
Luckily, capitalism is
nature and nature has been plugging along for millions of years without our help so the fact that we don't quite get it is fine. Capitalism will take over the world regardless and it's only a matter of time before our transition to a full-out global economy is complete, despite our tendencies to push back against this progression. Only then will we be able to see the big picture, appreciate the need for better protection of the planet (all of the planet, not just our own country), and feed the world. Only then will we stop moving garbage from one side of the world to another in order to "forget about it" because it will be like moving it from one side of our backyard to the other. Only then will we address the fact that dumping piles of trash into the ocean is probably not a good thing. Only then will we be in a position to see the real
solutions to these problems, not the stop-gaps.
Back in the day, 1776, when everyone was signing their 'ol John Hancock to the Declaration of Independence, I don't think there was as clear a need for "doing what's best for the planet at large" as there is today. In 1776 it was not painfully obvious that the world is a fragile place, that ecosystems are finely tuned, and that a few billion tons of CFCs can really fuck things up in a hurry. In 1776 you could barely pray to your own god without getting the beatdown so world hunger and peace were not on the forefront of political thought as our forbearers coined the phrase of, by, and for the people
. They were, quite literally, speaking of the "United States" people, not the world's people.
We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
This is all made quite clear in the preamble to the Constitution where they come oh so close
to reaching their hand out to the rest of the world but they don't quite make it. With use of such terms as "domestic tranquility" and "ourselves and our posterity" our forbearers made clear from the start that we're looking out for numero uno.
I will never argue against the belief that the Constitution is one of the most important and brilliant documents ever to be penned in this great nation because, to a certain extent, I share that belief.. but I don't think that bars me from also believing that, to quote the duder, "New things have come to light.. man". The world and it's people are more prevalent issues now than they have ever been and to ignore this fact would be criminal yet, if you take a sweep across the world (and I'm conjecturing here because I have not read too many countries constitutions or whathaveyous) I suspect you will not find too many instances where these issues are mentioned explicitly in documents that dictate the actions of governments. All this means is that we're still very, very, slow.
"George W. Bush was officially sworn in to begin his second term as president of the United States Thursday, promising to pursue "the expansion of freedom in all the world."
Clearly, the issues are on everyone's mind. "the expansion of freedom in all the world" is, obviously, George W. Bush's version, though quite frankly I find it mimics too closely the sounds of a little man we once knew named Hitler. Read betwixt the lines and you will find a novel full of circular lies written by scared, old, and rich white men. And so it goes across the world.
I don't think this is a popular opinion, at least not the harsher bits of it, but too often I find the "hippies" (for lack of a better all-encompassing term) who would like to "save the world" are far too idealistic, far too gullible, and far too biased to realize that our version of morality is not the same one that mother nature abides by. There will always be inequality, there will always be those who fall through the cracks. The best we can do is accept this and make the most with what we got... and right now we are not doing that. We are fighting amongst ourselves, being petty, squabbling over the silliest things and until this is over, we will continue to waste.
This cross-breeding of Jay-Z and Weezer
) is, if not all "good", it's at least funny. And some of it, really, is good too. Thanks to Px
for that one, who is now gracing my bloglinks list up at the top of this page cause he's just that damn funny.
I've always hated helping people with their computer problems because, ultimately, it's always one of:
a) impossible to teach the moron anything, so you're only setting yourself up to get asked for help again.. and again......... and AGAIN.
b) impossible to say anything to the moron without them trying to tell you that you are wrong, despite their complete ineptitude and inability to even turn said computer ON.
c) impossible to convince the moron that they SCREWED UP and that if they SCREW UP again they will, again, have the same problem.
d) impossible to actually fix their problem because their computer is either physically broken or needs a nice clean-sheet reinstall.
d sub a) impossible to get the operating system to reinstall after you've wiped their harddrive because they are morons and bought an uber-annoying package-wrapped POS that will only accept "recovery CDs", you know, the ones that were thrown out a long time ago (because the computer is so old it's not worth anything except maybe as a boat anchor or for shipping to china where it's innards will be ripped apart for use as toxins in the ground water).
The only version here that even makes me mildly happy is 'd sub a' because, when i'm done formatting their harddrive and the thing has become useless, they will at least realize that they need to get rid of the piece of junk and get a new computer.
That being said, all of this is INFINITELY more annoying when said moron is calling you on the phone and expecting a quick fix, even though you're having a hard enough time just getting them to read the error message off the screen, let alone getting them to click OK and maybe reboot the damn thing. ("I dunno, I just unplug it when I'm done with it")
That being said, all of this is doubly-infinitely more annoying when said moron contacts you over a text-messaging program and expects you to solve all of their problems, psychically, through the etherwaves.
Dreams dreams dreams lately. Vivid, and bad too. Nightmare's, I suppose they call them. Sort of fun, quite frankly, unless you actually need to get some solid sleep (which I don't). I've been so unproductive these first few weeks of the new year it's almost pointless to blog about 'em.
Discussion with roommate in which he described the Shawn of the Dead movie that came out recently. Sounds funny, would like to see it. That combined, however, with another conversation I had a long long time ago with another (ex-)roommate about how (potentially) cool a halo-esque dawn-of-the-dead type video game would be. Sure, it would take something to be put together well, and made truly scary, but I imagine it could be done. I dunno.
Fastforward to last night. Me - in bed. You guessed it. Dream about being in a halo-esque dawn-of-the-dead video game. I guess I wasn't necessarily in
a video game, per se, but it certainly had similar terrain and characteristics to Halo and, well, there certainly were some zombies. Lots of them too.
The problem with nightmares is that you eventually wake up - or at least come out of your comatose enough to semi-realize what is happening and then one of three things happens:
1. You bolt awake and realize it's morning. BORING. If it's morning already then chances are you're not going to be too scared, you're going to get up, and you're going to go about your monotonous life.
2. You turn your dream lucid and take control of the ship - Potentially a roller-coaster ride of fun! This is when the big guns come out and you start mowing down zombies like it's your job. Or whatever.
3. Your mind gets trapped in a tape-loop and you relive the worst moments of your dream over and over again until you can snap out of it - this, unfortunately, is more often than not what happens to poor old me.
I was locked behind a wall of glass with.. well, with somebody.. and the zombies figured us out, and they all came charging. They started to pile up against the glass, clawing away, and generally causing a nuisance. Unfortunately, this wall was only so high - it was open at the top - and they piled up so much that they started climbing over eachother. Uh oh.
After the fourth or fifth run of things my heart was racing a bit less and things started to feel like a bad Family Ties
re-run.. you know the kind, the ones they were still
playing in the late 90's and made you almost physically sick to try to watch.
This was in the pre-dawn era around 5am and once it truly woke me up the thought of the whole thing kept me up till the sun. It wasn't that I was truly frightened (though the thought of wandering out into our large loft apartment to take a piss was less than an enticing idea).. it was more that it sparked a discourse among the trolls in my head, asking over and over many time-honoured questions I'm sure you've all heard of before.
1. Why are humans so completely horrible to eachother?
2. What sort of sick bastard comes up with something like Dawn of the Dead and why, pray tell, do we find it interesting, compelling, exciting.. entertainment
3. What the hell are we going to do about Iran?!
As I pondered these question in the pre-dawn I tossed and turned, tossed and turned, and I had to ask myself over and over what have you done to people - even just one person - what have you done as awful as this? why are you, michael, a horrible person? what makes you think you're any better than a brainwashed nazi? who writes your command letter? to which drum, michael, do you march? Is it a horrible one? Is it awful? do you like it?
Not questions I could answer so I promptly fell asleep and had another nightmare. I don't remember this one but it was about a girl
and had something to do with me chasing, being rejected by, or otherwise feeling awful about, the girl. Sound familiar? Maybe becuase it's a reoccurring theme here. Maybe cause it's been piling up like manure for well over a year now. Maybe because I can't think of one reason - not one really good goddamned reason - why a girl like that should ever bother to give me a holler after all the trials and distance and lost time.
No no no, I'm not speaking with despair here. It's not "Woe is me, no one likes me". Surprisingly (and I truly am surprised folks, don't ever forget that) I am a "charismatic guy" according to some. Surprisingly, I have many friends, far and wide, who smile - nay grin - ear to ear whenever the thought of me crosses their mind. I am, surprisingly, a fairly well-rounded guy, capable of sarcasm, wit, intelligent discourse, naughty lies, and all those other sorts of interaction one needs to be enjoyed among the privelaged of this society.
So all I'm saying is I don't hate
myself. It's not like that at all. It's more a matter of lost opportunity. A matter of material witness. Me being the material, her not around to witness it. Distance makes the heart grow.. well.. it's sort of a mathematical step function -> if the love is strong enough then distance makes the heart grow fonder, sure.. but if the love isn't quite there, if it doesn't quite add up, not enough to get over the camel's hump as it were, then distance doesn't do much to the heart at all.. it only weakens the memories and fades the faces.
It took more out of me to weather the alaskan storm than many a face that knows me knows. Unfortunately it was an obstacle in my path that I could not avoid, a fateful battle I had to fight, a practice in patience I had to perform. It was, almost, out of my control. The course of atoms flying about the universe, coalescing into planets, forming life, building society, forcing me here - not that they had any more say about it than I did - they made me do it, the chips.. they fell where the did and the cards were dealt as they came and I, well, I couldn't fold. What if it was a bluff? So to the skies, I looked, shook my fist with tiny might like an ant shouting at the magnifying glass that dares burn his back, I shouted "All in!". With a giant grin - admittedly, not my best poker face - I held my cards and played at the table with the best that life had to offer and.. well.. it was all chump change in the end, folks.. chump change. Who knows, if I folded.. stayed around for another hand.. maybe things would be different but all that chump change.. well, to a chump like me it all looked pretty damn good.
A fool and his money soon parts and like a fool my money went walking. I'm still chasing after it to this day. Heck knows if I'll ever find it.
It used to be, back in the dark ages when I was attending a little institution you might be familiar with called high school
, I had quite the adoring little gal by my side. She was sad and sweet, to be sure, a bit of a nutter, but she meant well and she was a nice girl at heart. She just couldn't see the forest for the trees, that one. A real bit of a nutter to be sure. She liked the simple things in life (me, apparently, being one of them) and she couldn't understand a lot of the more complex parts of life like the suffering of the heart or the pain of absence. She also didn't understand patience, but that's another story. What she did do, however, was have lots of nightmares. I found this funny because at the time I did not. I didn't mock her, I just sort of chuckled to myself about it a lot, especially because these nightmares were - more often than not - about me. Specifically about me doing things like cheating on her, leaving her, etc, etc. All the common worries of a young sweetheart unsure of one's love. So be it, but I - in perhaps the naiveity of teenhood - thought these sorts of dreams about real life, where real people show up and perform potentially real acts, well I thought this was all a little childish myself. Dreams that are too life-like, I reasoned, suggests a mind so uncreative and unthoughtful that it simple plays out the most mundane acts it can come up with. Acts have already been processed in the waking hours so that the whole thing becomes a big game of opening drawers to see what already-thoughts can be found.
As I said, real boring yeah? At the time I would dream very rarely - or at least not remember very many of them - and even then they were about such off the wall topics as Einstein living in a hollowed tree trying to protect an army of 3-inch men about to be trampled by a friendly grizzly bear whom they feared to no end but who simple didn't see them because they were so small. Plus, they were never nightmares (come on, they were
small.. I could kind of see the bear's dilemma). So you can perhaps understand my reasoning at the time that boring minds made for boring dreams and that maybe this girl was the swiftest wiffle bat of the bunch.
Maybe, today, I understand her a little better for all of her rantings and ravings. Today, in a time when nightmares of girls with tourette's syndrome attempt to explain the unexaplainable (like: why wouldn't she like a swell guy like me?), it all seems more plausible, in the end, that she was just a little bit..
.. in love with me.
I suspected it all along. At the time I had no real understanding of the concept other than what you read in fairytales and what you see on tv (admittedly both fairly poor representations of what true love
really is) but her antics certainly had to come from somewhere so the idea of it all wasn't completely foreign to me. Maybe, I considered, she just really
likes me. This was probably a whole lot harder to understand for me then than it is now - in high school I had the self-esteem of a split pea without it's other half. Again, it's a matter of self-esteem vs. self-confidence. I believed in myself sure enough, I thought I was a smart enough guy and mostly nice enough too, but I couldn't make sense out of what everyone else probably thought of me. Probably, I figured, it was bad.
I've gotten over that now, mostly, although we all still struggle with self-image now and again, but we've come full circle in our story now haven't we? If we truly preserve a positive self-image than how could our minds concoct malicious nightmares about infidelity and lost-love? Well, buy-it-or-not but I'm about to tell you. Nightmares of mine these days - at least those without dead zombies and fallen buildings - make sense of such concepts as lost-love by inserting plausible explainations. Specifically, tourette's. It's ludacris, for sure, but somewhere in the dark recesses of my mind the neurons fired away like a roomful of brainstorming monkeys trying to come up with a reason, any reason at all, that this girl could possibly meet me, know me, have fun with me for close on to six months, enjoy my company, wrap her arms around me and squeeze me so tight that you know it's not just a hug, it's a hug
.. and all the chimps came up with was tourette's. She has tourette's. Her odd behaviour, her flip-flopping moods, her smiling tears.. of course! It's tourette's.
So perhaps I've overcome the struggles of self-image but in the process I have become a simpler man, dreaming the dreams of a simpler species, boiling things down to their lowest-common-denominator. I'm my old-self's girlfriend - what did I call her? Uncreative. Unthoughtful. Mundane. Somehow, though, I'm not sure I'm ready to call myself any of those things. Simple, that I can deal with, but uncreative I cannot. Instead, I will choose to believe that my old-self's evaluation of that girlfriend of mine was indeed uncorrect. She wasn't uncreative or unthoughtful or mundane or even dumb. She was, actually, a pretty bright girl. I sorta think - and I guess it explains some of my unfortunate nightmares too - that maybe.. just maybe.. she was in love.
Well then fuck-fuck-fuck-fuck-fuck you, my man, and stop stinking up my shit. Cause it's clear you're making it into something it's not:
What? That's what I thought. Isn't so obvious when someone's around to ask you questions. Ain't so easy when there are answers to be made. Huh?
Shut the fuck up. I wasn't talking to you, or you, or you, or even YOU so don't pretend like you have all of life's little answers - I bought a little toilet book for that at marden's for 99¢, hey and it was even called life's little answer book
so fuck you my man.
The funniest thing, the funnist thing of all really, is that I didn't even ASK YOU A QUESTION.
Calm down. Be quiet. Stop, think, listen. PAY THE FUCK ATTENTION. Do not, under any circumstances, blurt out the first thing that comes into your head. Firstly, it's rude. Secondly, it's probably going to make you sound like the dumbass bitch that you are. Do us all a favour and bite your lip.
If it bleeds - even better. Yah dig?
So fuck-fuck-fuck-fuck-fuck-fuck-fuckkkkkkk off and call it a day. Come back tomorrow when the ground crew has been through to clean up the mess you've made. And next time, watch where you step. Just cause you've learned to balance on two feet and you're so goddamned proud of yourself for it doesn't mean you should go walk around in traffic with your eyes closed..
Throw iTunes, Winamp, whathaveyou into random shuffle mode. Record the first ten songs to play from your complete collection. No lies.
1. Nothing Better - The Postal Service
I'm embarrassed to admit that at a Saturday afternoon brunch at a friend's house, when this song came on and someone asked what the ticking was, I suggested it might have been a bad mp3 rip.. not, as I should have remembered, actually part of the damn song.
2. Summer Breeze - Seals & Croft
Specifically, it's the song that if floating out of Julie's Ford Maveric as her and Mitch Kramer make out at the end of Dazed and Confused
3. Sounds of Silence (Unplugged) - Paul Simon and Bob Dylan
Dylan probably composes the largest collection of live concert mp3s out of anyone in my library
4. Us and Them - Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd's The Wall was the first album I remember owning and listening to in my "adult" life (let's put it somewhere around 6th or 7th grade). It's played a vital role in my developement, for sure. At that time, one wrong move and I could've gone with Def or G'n'R.. not that theres anything wrong with that.
5. Sitting on the Dock of the Bay - Otis Redding
I have a vivid memory of MTV's The State making fun of this song with an excessively-repetative pseudo-music-video of a dude sitting on a dock.. of the bay. At least I think it was The State. I never thought that skit was all that funny, really.
6. I'd Rather Go Blind - Etta James
In my older years.. so goes my musical tastes, sometimes.
7. Oh My Golly! - Pixies
When I was a young and impressionable young lad I had a cousin with excessive amounts of music. Tapes everywhere. His rooms' walls were covered in those "tape shelves" - 100 and 200 tape holders stacked one on top of another. Mostly dubbed onto blanks. But when CDs hit, the Pixies were on the rise, and he had Surfer Rosa, which meant he had a CD cover with a naked chick on it.. or a topless one anyway. I was enthralled with the Pixes.
8. Creep - Radiohead
You can't have something interesting to say about every song. I never really jumped into the mopey wallow that was radiohead but I could see the appeal. I mean some of it's catchy in that cut-your-wrists-and-slit-yer-throat sorta way.. or, I dunno, maybe more of a pill-popper bad. The rise of oxycontin parallels the rise of depressed british band? I derno. maybe.
9. C is for Cookie - The Cookie Monster
This one is self-explainatory, ain't it?
10. Spandex Man - Mr. Scruff
Sometimes I just don't have the time, energy, motivation, or interest to keep up with all the music trends going on. That's why I scarfed my friend's iTunes library last summer to get shit like Death Cab for Cutie and Modest Mouse - stuff I'd never get around to downloading on my own. Mr. Scruff at least I knew of, however, so it was a pleasant surprise when my friend lisa forced this one on me. I'm honestly not complaining. Between that, Manu Chao, Scissor Sisters, and Fantastic Plastic Machine, I guess I sorta owe her.
Oh cookiecookiecookie starts with C!
Airbus' new A380? Seats 800.
Disaster waiting to happen?
Fan of the 'ol Go-bots? Give this ad a chuckle
And as a sad statement on Technology
, CNN releases Top 25 of the last 25-years list:
5. E-mail -> invented FAR longer than 25 years ago, though SMTP did come around in the early 80's. If you're going to put this on the list you might as well put the Internet on here as well.
8. Memory storage discs -> although CDs finally came to be for consumers in the early 80's, the idea and prototypes came in the 70's.
13. Air bags -> Already in consumer vehicles in the early 70's
14. ATM -> Also mostly a product of the early 70's.
21. Nanotechnology -> Is this an invention? Is this an innovation? Let's wait until it's not just a buzzword, mmkay?
"Copy the list from the last person in the chain, delete the names of the authors you don't have on your home library shelves and replace them with names of authors you do have. Bold the replacements."
1. Dave Eggers
2. F. Scott Fitzgerald
3. Kurt Vonnegut
4. J.R.R. Tolkien
5. Mark Twain
6. William Gibson
7. Ernest Hemingway
8. Larry McMurtry
9. William Shakespeare
10. Leo Tolstoy
Can't help thinking that most things don't
work the way they should. Most things aren't
perfect. Most things, in fact, are inherently flawed
Stop sometimes to look towards myself and ask, inherently, what is wrong with me
? Something, somewhere, gotta be wrong with me.. sure, a lotta probablies
, a few maybes
, and some sort ofs
but really, inherently, what is wrong with me
Society, it would seem, thinks something
is wrong with me. It tells me everyday with it's prescription drug commercials, it's motivational self-help books, it's www weight-watchers ads, it's subtle hints that maybe I should get a job, be productive, fight-the-good-fight
. Bah. I don't got the fight in me, quite frankly, for a war I don't believe in.. and I'm not talking about Iraq here. I don't have the muscle, the mental majesty, the productive bone in my body, to do what this society would have me do, if it could truly control me.
As it is, it's got only a vague sense of something like puppet strings attached to me. Springy, stretchy strings that, when pulled, have only the slightest hint of an effect. Like the gentle rocking of a giant oceanliner on the sea. Like the subtle questioning one does in life, everyday, every time you roll over in bed and ask yourself "why am I not getting up right now, I should!". Like the moment you figure out that life has been charging you a monthly fee all this time and you've just never noticed
but are then sidetracked
onto something for more important like paying your credit card bill.
After awhile it all piles up. The random tick here. The odd spasm there. Things start to make you wonder, an air of questioning settles on you like a blanket of fog, and you start bumbling through it with the slightest bit more attention than you had before. Now, it would seem, you're on the trail like a smarmy fast-talking slueth with a edge for the macabre. Everything, you think for-sure, has a dark and questionable past. Everyone has an alterior motive. You find yourself on the brink of enlightenment, in some abandoned mansion on the hill in the dark on the night of a full moon with the wolves hollowing in the background about to discover the true murderer
when.. You come to, wake up, watching a bad Red-Eye visine commercial on tv with Ben Stein. "You need alergy medicine", the television convinces you. You feel wozy and the solution starts to fade away, back into the fog, back into the static of the television as the station goes off the air and you realize that it's past your bedtime, you've fallen asleep on the couch, you've forgotten your heart medication, you've not paid your bills on time, you're late for work, you are mean and surly, you don't appreciate post-modernism, you think - *gasp* - Julia Roberts wasn't that hot in the first place and that maybe, just maybe
, you never liked The Sopranos to begin with.
None of this makes sense so you leave it on the coffee table for tomorrow and just stumble off to bed. You throw your cat off the covers and climb under the sheets and even this, it seems, is society telling you that you're somehow wrong. Normal people
don't operate on this schedule. Productive Members of Society
, that oft-elusive club, won't even return your calls. You don't even hate your alarm clock anymore - it
The next morning you wake up. Coffee. You don't feel great as you stumble out into the world but it's bright out, people are frantically walking too and fro as if the day started hours ago, people look busy
. You feel groggy, unkempt, awful.. but everyone else is doing it.
Why not me?
I was told once that, no matter what celebrity someone might say you look like, it's a good thing. "Yah, man, association with a star
can't be bad, right?". I dunno, I guess not. So Tobey Maguire isn't the worst insult I could get but it is certainly creepy how often it is uttered. The one everyone forgets though, is Ben Seaver from the Growing Pains.. I guess the show is old enough now that he is slipping from the collective consciousness so only the older gals - ones in my age range and above - make the connection.
For the young-uns it's Tobey now. Truly, I won't complain, but it's always a little disconcerting to be labelled not as a type
of person - communist, liberal, hippy, pseudo-intellectual, whathaveyou - but as an actual
person.. someone else. Someone you are, clearly, NOT.
> you should be his naked double
> the one that has sex with hot girls
I'm not even sure I recall any of his roles as having sex with hot girls, except maybe charlize theron in cider house rules.. I guess I wouldn't pass that up without some consideration, but still. Have I no redeeming qualities of my own?
At parties now it's often the gift of conversation, where two or three girls will giggle and guess about who it is I'm reminding them of. "You know, that guy in Spiderman" if they can't remember his name. Bah. I do my best to laugh it off and say I guess so because, really, how do you respond to such preposterousness?
Now that the head is shaved down to stubble the connection isn't what it used to be.. I'm no more Maguire now than the next guy and I'm certainly not Ben Seaver. Not right now, anyway. I keep telling myself that the little-boy look will work out for me in the end. The single-dimple will surely be a deadly weapon when, in my later thirties and still not married, all the other guys my age look their age and I'm still being address as mikey and asked if I need a ride to school.
Yippee-Kai-Ai-Eh, work with what you got.
If you understand coffee in even the slightest way, or, if you don't quite get it yet but you want
to, then make this the last link you follow today:
@McSweeney's: Confessions of a New Coffee Drinker.
The iTunes is attempting to drown out the obnoxious grind of the sad, tired, and old ball-bearings of my desktop computer that somehow are able to continue to make noise year after year after year. It's the same computer case as the one I got my freshman year of college, the same one that was revamped in '99 with something crazy like a PIII 450 and given to my pops as his shooter. Another (*gasp*) SIX years later it's still going, still cranking away but somehow managing to do it much more loudly
. damn. At the same time, the wind is whipping around in the parking lot behind my apartment sounding like arguing teenagers and the ball-bearings keep getting into the conversation and it's a back-and-forth on either side of me, complaining, and in the middle - iTunes - trying it's best to drown those mother-fuckers out, yah know?
I'm working on an iTunes collection. Not the "big" collection. Not the entire
collection. I'm working on a specifically unique collection - no more than 200 songs - and I'm not going to call these classics
here, because really - what is
a classic really? - but it's sort of a collection of my life, given the last few years, and maybe someday I'll burn those fuckers to a few CDs and they'll make something. They'll mark a passage of time. They'll be me
in a little tiny way. Me and a few other folks who have been around to insert their two cents, folks who had some say in my left-right-north-west-sout-down-left-sideways shifting meandering wandering life. Not that it's going anywhere fast. But at least I'll have some sort of musical record for it, right?
In a different world I'd do all the dumb things I gotta do. I'd do a heck of a lotta the things I don't
have to do, too, because ultimately those are the things that really make a man - doing the things you don't have to
do. I'd play guitar more, convinced that practice can make perfect even though I'm lacking in the music talent gene. I'd finish more projects. I'd take more pictures.. pictures of people, too. Friends. Acquaintances. Random people on the street. Interesting faces that have stories to tell and maybe, somewhere, I'd print them all out and hang them up. Not in any obvious place like my bedroom or living room but somewhere in an old rotting barn out in the country. I'd visit every once in awhile. Maybe, just maybe, someone else would visit too.
The saddest part of life, it sometimes seems, is the fading of memories, and the older I get the more there are to fade. The more time they have to fade. The more I notice fluttering away into the dark recesses of my mind. Friends. Faces. One day, in high school, I took my camera to school for no apparent reason. I just had some film and wanted to cart it around, use it up, and by the end of the day I'd snapped photos of a number of random people and - surprise - I still have that roll of film somewhere. On occasion I happen upon in when re-arranging shit or trying to clean up and I'll flip through it and, despite the fact that I still see many of the people in those photos, they captured more than just the people but they captured the time, captured the feeling, the emotion, the energy in the air, the twinkle in the smile, the flash in the eyes. A picture is worth a thousand words.
Of all the girls I've truly loved there is only one that remains with me in photographic form. Sadly, the rest are fluttering memories, floudering in the deep waters of my memory, fading into the darkness. I remember I asked one of them once for a photo. It was early on in the relationship, too, but I knew deep down in my heart that things weren't going to tip in my favour on this one. She was restless and wanting and I was an insignificant bump in the road so I knew that I needed a picture or this one would, soon enough, be truly gone. Not just in my life but in my mind and in my soul and all that would be left would be a calcification, a fossil, a plaster mold of a memory of a faded face.
The process is in the works and, like a fossil, once it is found and removed it will leave hole in the middle of me.
So in the meantime I've been working on a collection of music that attempts to define my collective experiences over those years and, not that I think it can be done perfectly, I do think music can provide a pretty good tool in recollecting memories and feelings and emotions of long-time pasts, if you're into that sort of thing. I'm into that sort of thing. So I'll keep the iTunes going, keep putting those songs in the collection that spark the brain in a special way when I hear the first few notes, the songs that carry me up a big stairway, across mountain ranges, over hills and far away, the songs that define once in a lifetime, the one that is always on my mind. Memories are made of this.
Unbeknownst to me, and maybe a few other people, strange things are afoot. Things - going on - without me. Apparently mud, on occasion, is a fairly mobile medium. Apparently, apple didn't think the iPod was small enough. Apparently, the end is nigh for things can't get any more dire, really. We've reached a brink - an edge, a deep schism with no bottom -> music so small you can't see it. Art so big we can't hear it.
And a lotta mud.
I heard something about a big wave, too. A Tsunami I think they call it. And, not particularly strange even, it's not the worst that could happen. Might happen. WILL happen someday, soon or not so soon, but someday. We are, quite literally on the brink of catastrohpes we can't even begin to comprehend - solar flares that would wipe out all of us, volcanic eruptions that would cover half the continent in feet of ash, asteroid collisions, drought, fire, famine, the collapse of the NHL.
It's all a little too much for someone as feeble as me. It's all just a little too much. The best I can do is mention it, in passing, as if it's as inconsequential as this sentence.. and perhaps it is, on the "big scheme", so I'll leave it at that. I've done my rambling.
Watch out for falling logs and boiling frogs.
Yes yes, but was I happy
So I had a dream last night that you were getting married. You're in my room (in SB) only hours before the wedding, and you need a shirt. I'm happy to lend you one, and we peruse my closet. After finding an appropriate outfit (that part is really long, and one of us settles on a maroon with white diagonal stripes), the commodore comes to pick us up in his sailboat. Now we're in Niantic. This friend from school is skippering, but leading us directly into a sandbar, so I take over. I turn us around, but the sail is now filled from the wrong side, and somehow the boom is not moving. Also, I'm sailing using a tiller extension, but it's not really working. I realize we need to make some serious time, and push really hard on the tiller. It breaks, and the whole back of the boat falls off. A fisherman returns the pieces to me, and I sheepishly show the commodore what I have done (though we are still moving in a straight line and all). All of a sudden we're on long island sound looking for a put in.
It was one of the more vivid dreams I've had for a while, yet through the whole thing, the question of WHO you were marrying never came up. You looked good, though.
> drop out of school and come get a job at clubmed with me
> clubmed? where?
> someplace warm with hot young people
> isn't clubmed all about OLD people?
> no no
> they have specific sites,
> like cancun and a few other places just for young people
> who knew?
> i know
> my friend here went on vacation there two summers ago
> and she had sex with one of the guys working there
> and he said that they are encouraged to sleep with the guests
This might be topical and timely and therefore a useless post come next month or even next week but hello has there been shit all for movies lately or what? I haven't been paying particularly close attention to the entertainment sections of my local papers but that's only that's only cause I know there ain't much to see anyway. Mediocrity is coming to your town, and it's in the form of hollywood smack, fellas. It's called "Fat Albert" and "The aquatic Steve Zissouisisiso" and "Alexander". Did we really need another
pathetic historical epic? Clue: we liked the lord of the rings, but it burnt us out.. stay off the Homeric's for a bit, eh?
It is no question that humans are entirely horrible, horrible people. We are, in no question whatsoever, an awful group. It is no wonder, really, that most of the world's religions - whether familiar with eachother or not - all developed some sense of evil or sin. We are, emphatically, ruthless.
But that's nature, ain't it? Animalistic to the core. We might spruce it up with technology and cash but we're still the same wrestling gorillas underneath. Point is: we're out to survive.
No more animalistic than a deer sliping on the ice of a frozen lake or a fly shaking in the web. No, we are mother nature's son.
So for better or worse, we are what we are - always try to be the best that we can at what we do because nature tells we need to be, need to have more, because there has to be conflict - there has to be a strain on the system or else it will not grow, it will not rise.
So we're just awful to eachother. We treat one another like there is no such thing as respect and we abuse any and all trustful bonds that might have ever been built.
Then, when we're alone late at night the spooks come out to haunt us, the moral fiber kicks in - the thing that feelings are made of - and we can't understand the jungle even though we've been living in it for millions of years.
Somewhere in it all there is order in some sense or another. Mathematical fractals. Some odd form of bi-dimensional calculus that explains the cosmos and, more importantly, us in it. But space is a big place and we might just not be looking at it from the right angle.. it might take us awhile to figure things out.
So I guess we're stuck with evil and sin in the meantime. It's just something our animalistic nature gives us. Sure, it's the stuff that soap operas are made of, But that doesn't mean we have to embrace it. In our ultimate struggle for life, we should collapse upon the chance to outfox mother nature. We should take responsibility. Accept our fate, but march to the chopping block with a little class, pride, and compassion.
Accept our fate as human beings.
I sleep walk so often that sometimes the world of the here-and-now and the world of never-never-land sometimes collide, coalesce into a weird bubble-gum/mint-choc-chip sundae swirl in my mind. Odd, I know, but there are memories in my head of places I've been and situations I've dealt with that only
exist in my head - because they never actually happened. This, in itself, is sometimes tough to grasp, but what's worse is when I find myself telling stories of this far-off land to people who have never been there. I don't know what it is about sleepwalking - especially sleepwalking by a dude in his late-twenties.. these things should be grown out of, no? But it would appear to be here to stay, my odd trait, so what's to do but embrace it?
The apartment I live in now is big - really big - 5,000 sq. feet or so, as it is claimed, and it provides quite the landscape for my seussian nocturnal adventures. Long thin hallways make for cathedral trails in dark woods, creaking radiators turn into labrynthine trolls pitter-pattering through the undergrowth and Taz the dog makes for - well - more often then not, just a dog.. if you can believe that.
The strangest bit about sleepwalking is what comes through as real and what comes through as imaginary. Sometimes things are exactly what they seem but more often than not they're skewed, misrepresented, and somewhat slippery. So it is strange indeed that Taz the chocolate lab is always just that - Taz the chocolate lab. She's mostly docile, not too much of a licker, and thankfully doesn't jump on guests but she's excitable and wags her tail with her entire torso as if her whole body were built specifically as a wagging-engine. In the dreams - the ones with trolls in the underbrush and lakes in the kitchen and the white cliffs of dover hanging just on the other side of the apartment wall - Taz is like Tonto or Silver, always the ever-present sidekick - even if she doesn't realize what's going on or where we are.
I've talked to her about it and so I know that she gets confused. She hears me shuffling about in the dark and her head perks up over the edge of the couch and she sees me pointing or talking at something and she sees a microwave - silly dog. It's no microwave at all, it's an animated rock, a cloud, a talking hand-puppet of enormous proportion. Yet Taz comes along for the ride anyway, looking around, confused, trying to make sense of the seemingly-normal scene in front of her. In my sleep I imagine telling her things, explaining the situation, and sometimes I think I see a twinkle in her eye, as if she's figured it all out, but then I wake up, Taz isn't around, I'm in my boxers, and I'm squinting at the fish tank - not the microwave.
In dreamland there is often more than two sides to a coin. In never-never-land dimensions are folded onto themselves, across eachother, over-and-under and twisted around into knots of giant size. In my head I sometimes manage to unfold one only to find another two inside. Most of the time, though, as I unfold these random twists and turns, as I make sense of the curvature of time and the duration of space, everything begins to pop out and up like a self-setting tent that only needs to be pulled from it's bag and then, with the acceleration of the universe itself, I am hit with clarity and I find myself no longer in the forest or floating in the ocean or even standing in my room with the building crumbled beneath me - I find myself standing, in my boxers, talking to a house plant. I find myself staring at my computer chair piled with clothes where once, not more than a second ago, there was Madonna. I find myself not putting on galooshes with which to wade through the lava flow but putting on my adidas with which to, well, I just don't know.
Coming out of a dream can be a discombobulating thing but in my mind it makes me quicker, faster, smoother, and more ready for the 25th century. With each suddenly-strange transition, I become more prepared for the unreality of real life
. After you see a cat-like squid-creature scuddle under your kitchen counter something so strange as the split of Pitt and Aniston seems fairly banal. When your apartment ceiling is transformed into an upside-down bog replete with serpents and swamp-things, giant asian tsunamis seem fairly believable. When the world is shaped like a torus in danger of imploding in on itself, well, water on mars seems entirely plausible. Entirely Plausible.
i went and got some rockin' pics of st. laurent blvrd. just fer yer viewin' pleasure, rock it? and in a snowstorm no less.
Taken from the roof of 3643 St. Laurent, looking south down the street, in the snow, with the nice decorations and christmas lights lining the street.. awww.
Also taken from the roof of 3643 St. Laurent, this one is looking west towards St. Urbain, and Parc beyond. Umm.. yeah, this was in the snow too.
The venerable Madona's 99¢ Pizza, one of the well known "99 cents a slice" joints where, in reality, you pay anywhere from $1.15 to $2 after tax, depending on the toppings. Somehow along the way, they forgot the extra D
Shish Taouk, owned by the same guys who run Sarah's, which has moved a number of times and used to be right across the street from this establishment. Note the classic neon shwarma sign, though this one doesn't move like some of them do.. bummer.
Here I sit in my 5,000 sq foot loft, far from my room and my comfortable cat5 ethernet connections, gone wireless. Here I am in the corner of a dark and lonely space filled only with ghosts of parties past and lots of darkness to keep them company. Here I sit appreciating some of the simplest yet most influential technologies of the early 2000's - mark my words. Wiresless has been a long time coming and now, almost, practically, theoretically, mostly, it's here. It's come a long long way since the early days of RF, ham radios, and UHF. It's come a long way from 80's cell phones the size of small breadboxes and it's even come a long way from your super-duper 900mghz phone from 1995.
Yet somehow, it's all the same. "New" technology is sometimes a misnomer but we'll let it slide. They're just so excited about things, you know? Jumpy even.
They exclaimed in the 80's. Jetson-like maid robots were promised.
They exclaimed in the 90's. Tiny machines to flow through our blood streams like so many tiny maintenance men.
Now it's trips to the moon, space stations on mars, and superstring theory. Super!
What's next? I gotta ask, What's next?
Old technology made new or new technology made feasible, I don't really care, I'm really digging the wireless thing. It's everyone, it's freedom from tethers, it's wonderful - and it's not even that commitement scares me so much. It's a mental awareness of your surroundings where the computer - the laptop - is part of *you* and not part of a network or attached to a big brick of a desk or a rats-tail of a ethernet cord. It's envigoratingly refreshening like a breath off fresh air after painting all afternoon. It's fresh rain after a muggy midday.
What it means for the rest of you, I'm not sure, but for me it means 4900+ sq feet more
space in which I can let my creative juices flow. It means the ability to sit outside on my stoop, in the middle of Montreal, and write about all the crazies walking by - in real time - to you good folk of the innernector. It means freedom from the tiny walls of my room and the tiny walls of my mind, built up from years of attachments, tethers, leashes, chains, and fences.
Or it just means I can write emails on the shitter now. I dunno. Whatever.
Some people say that the way you ring in the new year is the way you will spend the rest of your year. I don't think they are being literal there, but regardless, I'm not sure if I believe it. On the one hand, I would love to think that my 2005 will be spent in various levels of drunkeness with various personages from acquaintance to best-friend, and yet with very little in the way of stress, anxiety, or responsibility. On the other, I have a liver to think about. And I have actual responsibilities - mostly to myself - and I have stress on occasion.
Curiously, I woke up last night with a pounding chest. In my feeble 4am mind I believed, truly, that my building was compromised - that the three floors below mine were destroyed (at least the part over my bedroom) - and that I could fall crashing down to earth at any moment. At first I was light-footed and scattered brained, tip-toeing out into the kitchen to look around. Everything, as on Christmas Eve, was quiet and so I slunk back into my room. I risked an approach to the windows - clearly an unlucky spot if my bedroom decided to crumble from the side of the building - and I looked out and down towards the parking lot to see if supports had been put up under my room yet. Anything, really, would do. Stilts. Angled braces. Anything. All I saw, however, was a wall. A 4 story wall that climbed all the way from the ground to the bottom of my window sile and then continued on up above me. My heart, still jumpy, notched back the throttle a tad and the real thinking part of my brain took over. I reasoned things out, I made some calculations, and I concluded that yes, I had just had a bad dream.
So clearly I have my fair share of stress and anxiety, as well, wherever it may be stemming from I could not say. Often times, the pure lack
of stress somehow manages to cause
me stress. A world with no stress, no strain, no need to focus, well.. that is a world this little brain does not know and so it creates it's own versions. Smaller, simpler, more odd perhaps, but stress none-the-less.
Up until very recently this blog was, on occasion, a source of stress for me. I worried about posting enough, I worried about saying something interesting, I worried about talking about certain things or certain people too much, and I worried about the cohesiveness. Now, though, somehow I worry a lot less. I'm coming to terms with certain things, certain people (especially me), and I'm much less concerned about the cohesiveness of anything these days because, quite frankly, there is almost no such thing. The world is a mess of chaos and coincidence and I'm becoming more alright with that as I travel on in years. The world doesn't have a special place for me, as I once foolishly dreamed, but it does have room. We live every day with the static statements of history but our lives - the living ones, the ones that are still going on, the new ones starting everyday - these is nothing static in that. I am in a million places at once. I am with a million people at once. I am seeing a million different things everyday.
Somewhere in all of those millions of things out there maybe the truth lies, unknown, unseen, or perhaps it's there in all of it, spread out for everyone to take in. I dunno, I couldn't say one way or another.
What I do know is that what I talk about on here is certainly only 1/1,000,000th of who I am and what I do.. maybe less. This blog is only a tiny part of me and to see it as the whole of me would be foolish indeed. There are people whom I have never mentioned on here that mean far more to me than some I have. There are people I have mentioned in the past and do so less now in the future yet they mean no less to me now than they did then.
Things change. In the short time I've been back in Montreal I have seen old buildings come down that have stood for more years than I've walked the earth. I've seen new buildings thrown up that will stand the test of time probably longer than any grandchild of mine. Time rolls and with it the landscape of society is metamorphed in a slow melting, cooling, boiling, freezing process.
And yet through it all - the time I've been here - some neurons of mine still fire as they did a long time ago. Some of those neurons remind me of people who've stood the test of time inside my thin and tenious mental mind. What greater being chose those neurons to live and others to die, what act or chance meeting create those memories, I may never know. I may never reach the answers always being asked in the back of my mind like a constant broadcast of questions to the cosmos, like a search for intelligent life on another planet. I just may never know.
But I'm going to try, in 2005, not to worry so much about it and maybe, just maybe, cut down on the stress a little.